Washington, June 7 : Pakistani economist and financial planner Shahid Javed Burki has said that if the present situation of political uncertainty continues, with no one being in full charge of Pakistan's economy, there could be a social and political turmoil in the near future.
He said that the major political parties in the country were preoccupied with the judges' issue and power-sharing arrangements.
Burki, a former World Bank vice president and finance minister in the Moeen Qureshi caretaker government, told a meeting at the Woodrow Wilson Centre that there is a "disconnect" between the poor, whose prime concern is their next meal, and the elite. The worrying aspect of Pakistan's economy is that it is dependent on external capital, not domestic resources, the Daily Times quoted him as saying.
He described former premier Shaukat Aziz's economic policies as "misguided" and a result of his failure to understand the strategy of economic planning. What Aziz had given Pakistan what could only be described as "casino economics", he added.
Bukri, who is currently a senior scholar at the Wilson Centre, said that the establishment and the citizen were not on the same page, which was making the common man increasingly angry as he sees no sign of any serious attention being paid to his precarious situation.
Burki said that in the past 60 years since separation from India, Pakistan has not done badly economywise, having maintained an annual growth average of 4 percent. The country's economy has grown 18 times. There has also been a significant decline in poverty, which was 65 percent in 1947, but has fallen to 33 percent today. Only 20 percent of Pakistan's income is derived from agriculture, while 53 percent comes from the service sector.